The riddle of history : Marx's concept of socialism in the context of his epistemology and theory of history.
Within the organisation of all societies, there are basic contradictions which historically
have given rise to certain undesirable structural features. These same contradictions
also lie at the root of alienated, ideological forms of consciousness which act as a barrier
to the solution of these problems. In chapter one, I will deal with each of these issues in
turn, thus introducing Marx's problematic, i. e. the so-called "riddle of history".
Chapters two and three contain a discussion of Marx's methodology, which was
intended to avoid the pitfalls of ideological forms of consciousness and provide a theoretical
framework for coming to terms with the problem. Chapter three in particular provides
a syntax and a logical explanation for the terms and forms of argument employed in
the rest of the thesis.
Marx believes that historical development itself determines the possibility of solving
the problems referred to. Chapters four and five, therefore, are an analysis of the
processes which govern the development of social structures, i. e. so-called "Historical
Materialism". Chapter six is an investigation of the relationship between historical
change and forms of consciousness.
This sets the stage for an analysis in chapter seven of the nature of capitalism itself
and how it gives rise in the consciousness of the working class to a solution, in principle,
to the problems identified in chapter one. Finally, chapter eight reviews the factors within
the development of capitalism which might make possible the transition to socialism and
the implementation of the solution in practice.